Friday, September 12, 2014

Many theories explain radical islamic violence, and it is not as personal as terrorists make it sound; also AC360 interviews Foley's mother

There is a wide range of views on the question as to what drives radical Islamic terrorists to violence.
The rhetoric in some of the ISIS videos sounds personal, like we having coming to us.
But much more of it is ground in ideas of religious duty (falsely reasoned), the idea of belonging to a group rather than being an individual, the idea that “infidels” create a religious violation by occupying Muslim lands, and the idea that Muslim “paradise” is a reward that replaces poverty on Earth.  It is much less personal than it sounds.

Here are a few references:

Doug Bandow, Cato and published in the Huffington Post, 2010, here

The Philosopher’s Magazine Blog, post by Mike La Bossiere, 2013 

“Mb-soft” gives a totally historical explanation, in detail 

William Blum sees it as propaganda and talks about the Bali bombing in 2002, about which I actually got an email then, link.

The conservative Breitbart site notes that an unusually high percentage of European jihadists are redheaded, possibly as a result of bullying (so that is personal), link.  
Despite the fact that much of this theory is put in terms of clashes between groups of people (based on religion, nationality, race, or anything else), ultimately this comes down to personal morality insofar as it can affect me.  If I can become part of the “enemy” because I am part of an aggressor nation, then I have to be able to participate in defending people around me.   I have a stake, my own skin in the game.  
Also, today, in  replay of an interview by Anderson Cooper on CNN, James Foley's mother said that the FBI had to come to her for information and was rather clueless.  She had traveled to Europe several times to talk to other hostages. The interview video with Diane Foley ("I feel our country let Jim down") is here.  She also said that the government would prosecute her if her if she paid ransom personally to foreign terrorists

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